Many basic rights, including the right to life, the right to privacy, freedom of practicing religion, are associated with the right to freedom of expression, speakers say
World Press Freedom Day was celebrated by the civil society organization Nagorik on Monday through organizing a webinar on the subject, "Covid Pandemic: Freedom of press and freedom of expression."
The theme of this year's World Free Media Day is "Information as a public good."
World Press Freedom Day on May 3 reminds everyone of the basic principles of freedom of press and the establishment of a free media, evaluating the freedom of the media around the world, taking an oath to resist interference in freedom and remembering journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty, read a press release from Nagorik.
It is the duty of journalists to provide information to people but since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic at least 80 journalists have been prosecuted under the Digital Security Act, more than 10 have been charged under the Information and Communication Technology Act, and at least 50 journalists have been arrested in various cases, the statement said.
At least two journalists were killed, no fewer than 70 were injured, 30 were assaulted and at least five were abducted while carrying out their duties in Bangladesh, according to the Nagorik press release.
Research and national experience prove that the suppression of thought, conscience and expression creates conditions for political intolerance and violence, added the press release.
Freedom of expression means not only freedom of speech but also freedom of expressing thoughts in any other way.
Many basic rights, including the right to life, the right to privacy, freedom of practising religion, are associated with the right to freedom of expression and communication, the speaker said.
Photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajal notes that there is journalism in Bangladesh, but it is very subdued or controlled.
"The reason for such regulated journalism is mainly the presence of oppressive laws, such as the Digital Security Act-2018. Journalists cannot work freely unless these laws are repealed," said Kajal.
Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua presided over the function.
Prominent photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajal, photographer Shahidul Alam, Baul singer Rita Dewan, Chittagong investigative journalist Golam Sarwar, poet and journalist Sohrab Hasan, journalist Zyma Islam, Chittagong University teacher Maidul Islam, rights activist and lawyer Abdullah Al Noman, Dhaka University teacher Rezaur Rahman Lenin, and rights activist Professor CR Abrar and many more were present at the webinar.